Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign on Wednesday said it was "absolutely despicable" that President Trump failed to confront Vladimir Putin with intelligence indicating Russia paid the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Driving the news: The president told "Axios on HBO" that he never raised the issue with his Russian counterpart, despite speaking to Putin at least eight times since intelligence about the alleged bounties was reportedly included in the President's Daily Brief in late February.

  • "That was a phone call to discuss other things, and frankly, that’s an issue that many people said was fake news," Trump told Axios' Jonathan Swan.

What they're saying: "The most critical and sacred obligation of a commander-in-chief is to protect those who serve our nation in harm's way," the Biden campaign's rapid response director Andrew Bates said in a statement.

  • "But months after the U.S. intelligence community sounded the alarm — to Donald Trump and to our allies — that Russia was placing bounties on the heads of American servicemen and women in a warzone, our president continues to turn his back on those who put their lives on the line for our country, and on his own duty."
  • "This continues an indefensible pattern of Donald Trump weakening the United States in the world in a manner that no American president ever has before, and it's absolutely despicable."

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Aug 12, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Harris previews dual role in debut speech: Attacking Trump and humanizing Biden

Sen. Kamala Harris began her first speech as Joe Biden's running mate excoriating President Trump for his "mismanagement" of the coronavirus and scorn for the racial justice movement, before quickly pivoting to how she came to know Biden: through her friendship with his late son Beau.

Why it matters: The debut speech on Wednesday underscored the dual roles that Harris will take on for the rest of the campaign — humanizing Biden during a moment of national crisis and "prosecuting" the case against Trump as a failed president.

Biden campaign raises $26 million in 24 hours after announcing Harris as running mate

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden's campaign announced on Wednesday that it raised $26 million in the 24 hours after revealing Sen. Kamala Harris as his vice presidential pick.

Why it matters: The cash influx signals that Harris has helped the Democratic presidential campaign pick up steam. Nearly 150,000 contributors were first-time donors, according to the campaign statement.

Biden hits Trump for vow to block USPS funding: "He doesn't want an election"

Kamala Harris and Biden at a COVID-19 event. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Image

Joe Biden responded to President Trump’s pledge on Thursday to block stimulus funding for the U.S. Postal Service and mail-in voting, telling reporters at an event with Sen. Kamala Harris: "Pure Trump. He doesn’t want an election.”

Why it matters: Trump claimed Thursday morning that any additional money for the USPS would be used to expand "universal" mail-in voting, which he has long argued, without evidence, will lead to massive voter fraud and a "rigged" election.